Ask Lloyd Grove: ‘Hollywood Thinks Journalists Are Sexy Again”

Hey, was there ever any doubt?!

Take a look at what Lloyd Grove has to say in The Daily Beast:

Earlier this year, Sarah Jessica Parker was on a flight with her three young children, on their way to a spring break vacation, when she suddenly started weeping.

Lloyd Grove's column in The Daily Beast, Sept. 17, 2014

Lloyd Grove’s column in The Daily Beast, Sept. 17, 2014

“I burst into tears on Jet Blue,” the Sex and the City star tells me. “And I had to ask for a rather scratchy napkin to use, because I was embarrassed to be crying in front of my children inexplicably.”

Parker, with a book galley in hand, had just gotten to the end of Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love. It’s a riveting, funny and ultimately tear-jerking chronicle by Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, two investigative reporters for the financially-strapped Philadelphia Daily News, about how they won the Pulitzer Prize and risked body and soul (Laker was beaten up by street thugs, Ruderman’s marriage collapsed) to expose a ring of dirty cops while their newspaper was crumbling beneath their feet.

Parker’s sobs were a good omen, and proof positive that the journalism business—no matter how diminished, insolvent, distrusted and ailing it sometimes seems in the year 2014—remains a healthy Hollywood staple, a source of endless comedy and drama.

Thanks for the shout out, Lloyd!

Check the rest of what else Lloyd has to say about “Busted” and other journalism stories in the entertainment slipstream in his Style column today in The Daily Beast.

Holy moly

Hot news from Hollywood today, and we’re part of it!

A blog item from our colleague columnist Molly Eichel sums it up nicely:

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“Busted,” the memoir from the Daily News’ own Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman based on their experiences writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning series “Tainted Justice,” has been optioned for a television series from Sidney Kimmel Entertainment with Sarah Jessica Parker attached to star. The show will be co-produced by Anonymous Content, the company behind the much-buzzed about “True Detective.”

“We’re bonkers out of our minds with glee,” Ruderman said.

This is Parker’s first return to television since a stint on “Glee” and her first major role since “Sex and the City.” Producer Carla Hacken had told the duo that SJP finished the book on a plane to the Caribbean with her kids and she cried at the end, adding that she simply had to be a part of this project.

 

Read Molly’s full blog report here.

Dave Davies stirs a little speculation on his blog at WHYY’s NewsWorks.org. Thanks, pal!

Read the report in Variety here.

Phillymag: “Busted Is a Philadelphia Classic”

imageThanks to Joel Mathis and Philadelphia magazine’s news & opinion blog for dubbing “Busted” a “Philadelphia classic” — then backing up the assertion with three convincing reasons.

Yo — what’s not to like about being put in the same league as Rocky Balboa.

Mathis  concludes:

“Busted deserves your attention not because you need to know more about cop corruption in Philadelphia — the details of which were amply reported in the original newspaper series — but because it’s such a great Philadelphia story. It deserves iconic status.”

Read all of Joel’s comments by clicking on the blog image.

 

 

 

“Busted” in the NYT Book Review

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 10.36.26 AMThanks to Charles Graeber for including “Busted” in his True Crime edition of The Shortlist in today’s New York Times Book Review:

Equal parts serious journalism and sisterly sass, “Busted” is a personable and fast-reading ride along with two Philadelphia Daily News journalists as they chase a police corruption story down the rabbit hole, from reportage to Pulitzer Prize. Along the way, Ruderman and Laker knock on hundreds of doors in Philly’s drug-ravaged “Badlands,” endure threats, flea bites, bad Match.com dates, bullying lawyers, demanding editors and a couple of solid slaps by a former stripper. This is a shoe-leather journalistic procedural set against the ticking clock of the failing newspaper industry.

For the full review and to see what other kinds of True Crime company we keep, read the full Shortlist section of reviews here. 

NYTreview

Oh, Canada hears the “Busted” story on CBC Radio One

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 9.57.36 AM“Busted” met the Rob Ford story today on Canadian radio! Thanks to Anna Marie Tremonti, guest host Tom Harrington and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for including us on this morning’s edition of The Current, on CBC Radio One. We were interviewed by stellar guest host Harrington. The Current’s Eye on The Media project looks at how a major scandal is pursued by local media, and we were two of the three investigative journalists on the show.  The third reporter was Robyn Doolittle of the Toronto Star, who helped break the Mayor Rob Ford crack-cocaine story and, like us, knows what it feels like to get death threats and knock on the door of someone who might not want to hear from you. Listen to the 24-minute program by going to this program link. We enter the broadcast at the 5:00 minute mark.

 

“Busted” in the Washington Times

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 12.34.37 PMThanks to Paul Davis for his review of “Busted” in the Washington Times.  He took the time not only to read and review the book, but also to call and interview us. He also may have produced the first review that mentions the police commissioner’s decision to fire one of the cops and punish the others.   Read the full Washington Times review here.  A few sentences from what Barbara told him:

“In the book, we describe how we found 22 merchants from all corners of the city, speaking all different languages, independently telling us the same story that these officers came in with guns drawn, smacked the video-surveillance cameras, and cut wires,” Ms. Laker said. “They all told us that the cops took thousands of dollars from the stores. They ate sandwiches there, guzzled drinks, and they took things like batteries, cellphones and lottery money. And they all independently told us the exact same story. For the women, we knocked on door after door where Tolstoy had been present during the raids. I would bet my children’s lives on the fact that they are telling the truth. Two of the three complained that very night and the third woman, the one we call ‘Naomi,’ she went to the hospital, and they did a rape kit. She could not name the officer. She didn’t know it was Tolstoy, but Internal Affairs knew it was him, because they pulled him off the street that very night.”

“Ode to a Daring Team”

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 9.59.09 PM“As storytelling, Busted succeeds on two levels: its stated purpose, in showing the challenges of finding and telling these stories of police corruption, and in the backstory — performing this difficult work at a newspaper, and in an industry, that is crumbling before our eyes. More than dropped investigations, that’s the postscript to this story that I find so disheartening. As difficult as it was in a shrinking newsroom to perform this work, imagine doing it today, just five years later. Or next year. Or 10 years from now.” Thanks so much, Mark. The full blog post from Mark is here. 

 

“Anger at the damage done”

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“The authors’ passion for the truth and anger at the damage done to innocent people seep out around the edges of the story, no less effective for being restrained. Inspired since childhood by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s uncovering of Watergate, they want to see themselves as being in that tradition of great, tough big-city journalism.”  Thanks to Kate Buford for her sparkling review of “Busted,” which you can read in full here.